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CODA | May 2017

Chris Pinelo


Venue transitions always come with challenges, logistical and otherwise. I know many, if not all (myself included), are clamoring for the return to our beautiful Music Hall, but this doesn’t take away from the fantastic “home away from home” season for the CSO and the Pops we’ve had here at the Taft Theatre.

Music Hall is of course irreplaceable, but we put a lot of thought into where the CSO and Pops could perform during this transition year. Built in 1928, the Taft Theatre was selected for its wonderful historic characteristics, including its neo-classical/art deco architecture, its history as a performance venue for important classical artists (Vladimir Horowitz, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Fritz Kreisler and other legends had performed in unamplified recitals here), and its proximity to downtown amenities and to Music Hall. Also importantly, it allowed the CSO and Pops to perform in one venue for the entire 2016–17 season. With the current CSO and Pops seasons coming to a close, the list of great performers at the Taft has measurably grown with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Smokey Robinson, Lang Lang, Vanessa Williams, Itzhak Perlman, Melissa Etheridge, Hilary Hahn and Emanuel Ax, among others, and the Taft Theatre’s story continues.

With $3.5 million of improvements in recent years, the Taft is expertly managed by the CSO’s Music and Event Management Inc. subsidiary. It is a vibrant community gathering space in Downtown Cincinnati that not only serves as the home of the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s mainstage productions, but also hosts a diverse array of touring musicians, comedians and theatrical productions. You can find out more at TaftTheatre.org.

Later this month, the Taft will also host this year’s May Festival, re-imagined in 2017 and building on Cincinnati’s incredible singing tradition. This is not to be missed, and I invite you learn more at mayfestival.com.